Our church has a group of couples that provide meals for families in crisis.  These dedicated kitchen-dwellers prepare and deliver dinners for families with loved ones in the hospital, those at home who are ill and even in the event of a death.  It is a wonderful outreach and stewardship ministry area.  But, it isn’t just about the meal.

This group will not only bring the meal to the house, but they also bring the “extras” - cutlery, plates, napkins, and even tablecloths.  During such a chaotic time in life, it is often a welcome sight to have a pleasant and elegant sit-down dinner and take a moment to take care of oneself.

To make things as easy as possible on the receivers, all items brought are disposable.  That way, no one needs to hassle with a lengthy clean up process.  Investing in plastic, paper, and even linen-like table coverings, plates, napkins and plastic cutlery helps not only the ones receiving the meal, but it also puts the deliverers’ minds at ease that the target family is not going to have to focus on cleaning when thoughts are obviously elsewhere.

The meals that are typically shared are easy to prepare and transport.  A standard meal includes a casserole, a side dish, a bagged salad, dressing, rolls, and a dessert.  Casseroles are used for a couple of reasons: they are easy to prepare and transport, they can be made ahead of time and stored, and they are simple to freeze if the family chooses to do so.  Everything is prepared in disposable pans as well.

Providing a dinner for a family in crisis is an excellent way to help out without feeling intrusive.  Making it as easy and simple of a process for both the giver and the receiver is certainly necessary.

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